A NORTH-East soldier who died after he was fatally injured in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, has been named as Sapper Adam Moralee.
The 23-year-old, from Newcastle and serving with the 32 Engineer Regiment, died yesterday after he was injured while preparing equipment for redeployment out of Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.
In a statement issued through the MoD the family of the soldier, who also leaves behind a fiancee, today described him as "full of life and always the joker of the family".
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Sapper Moralee deployed to Afghanistan on in September as a section sapper in the Close Support Engineer Squadron of the Task Force Helmand (TFH) Engineer Regiment Group, working throughout the area of operations in Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan, the MoD said.
He was working with his section in Camp Bastion yesterday, preparing engineer plant equipment for redeployment out of Afghanistan, when he was fatally injured.
Sapper Moralee leaves behind parents Lynn and Darren and fiancee Emma.
In a statement, his family said: "Adam was a loving son, fiance, and friend who touched everyone's hearts that came into contact with him.
"His passion for cars and anything with an engine made him a true petrol head through and through.
"As a son he was full of life and always the joker of the family, who never took anything too seriously. He loved his job and the friends he made from his time in the Army, and he would never have swapped those experiences for the world.
"He treated his fiancee, Emma, like his princess and the love they shared was clear to all of those who were lucky enough to see it.
"To be his wife would have made Emma feel like the luckiest girl in the world and they were each other's one true love and soul mates.
"Adam touched the hearts of all of us who were lucky to know him and not a day will go by where he is not in our thoughts and hearts. He will be sorely missed by family and friends and forever loved by all. Rest in peace son!"
Sapper Moralee is the first British serviceman to die in Afghanistan this year.
A total of 448 British forces personnel or MoD civilians have died while serving in Afghanistan since the start of operations in October 2001.
According to the MoD, of these, 404 were killed as a result of hostile action while 44 are known to have died either as a result of illness, non-combat injuries, or have not yet officially been assigned a cause of death pending the outcome of an investigation.
Sapper Moralee's commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Steve Davies, paid tribute to the 23-year-old today, describing him as a role model to all.
He said: "Quietly determined and utterly dedicated, Sapper Adam Moralee was an outstanding soldier.
"An armoured engineer through and through, he had proved himself on both the icy prairies of the British Army Training Unit Suffield in Canada and the IED-riddled deserts of Afghanistan on Operation Herrick 14, clearing safe lanes in his beloved Trojan.
"In his second operational deployment to southern Afghanistan, he worked as a combat engineer - toiling hard in both the heat and the snow to ensure that the force was protected from the elements and the enemy threat, and then working in support of the redeployment effort.
"His dry wit and his commitment to the team, be it on operations or the football field, have made him a well-known, trusted member of his troop, his squadron and the regiment.
"Passing his PNCO cadre prior to deployment, Sapper Moralee was ready to be a junior commander and his huge potential really shone through.
"A role model to all, I have no doubt he would have risen high in the ranks."
Lance Corporal Karl Crosbie, from 4 Troop, 26 Armoured Engineer Squadron, 32 Engineer Regiment, was due to be Sapper Moralee's best man, and said the pair were like brothers.
Paying tribute to his friend, he said: "From the outset, it was clear that I had met a truly caring best friend and brother who would have done anything for me.
"Adam and I were inseparable; we did everything and went everywhere together. We were always seen as a pair almost as if we were joined at the hip.
"From the first day when he arrived and moved into the same room as me, we shared many happy memories during our time together.
"He was a very popular man and was known by everyone within the squadron. We served in the same section on Operation Herrick 14.
"One thing that will forever stand out amongst many amazing memories is his love for doing body-building poses and from where he got his nickname 'Massive'.
2Such was our friendship that he asked me to be his best man for his wedding to his fiancee Emma; I was deeply honoured.
"We were very much like brothers and I will miss him very much. We will meet up again one day 'Massive'."
The majority of British forces are in Helmand Province, in the south of the country, but some also operate elsewhere, including in and around the capital Kabul.
The drawdown of British troops is currently under way, with all combat troops due to have left by the end of the year.